The promoters of the Silverstone Classic have cancelled the 2020 event, which was due to run on 31st July-2nd August, freeing up the date for a potential Formula 1 British Grand Prix.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has seen widespread cancellations and postponements to large public events, the biggest annual historic racing festival will not run this year.
Promoters Goose Live Events pledge the event will be back for its belated 30th anniversary edition in 2021 and ticket holders will now be offered full refunds or the option to roll-over their tickets for next summer.
The event attracts many thousands of classic car owners and more than 100,000 visitors, many of whom camp out at Silverstone. The nature and scale of the event makes running it in a safe, socially-distanced manner a huge challenge in current conditions and running the event behind closed doors isn't a feasible option.
In addition, the possibility of a British GP running behind closed doors on same planned date of the Classic further complicates the situation.
While F1 and British GP organisers continue to lobby the UK government for quarantine exemptions, Silverstone had been targeting back-to-back F1 races on 26th July and 2nd August held without spectators which would have triggered a date change for the Silverstone Classic.
Nick Wigley, CEO of Classic organiser Goose Live Events, said: "Following the latest Government advice, coupled with other scheduling changes at Silverstone, we have reached the inevitable conclusion that we will need to cancel this year's event.
"Given the current circumstances and the unclear outlook on timescales, staging a postponed event - which was our original back-up plan - isn't something we can plan for with any degree of certainty if we are to deliver the style of Classic that we all know and love.
"I can't tell you how sad this news makes me feel. For the last 12 years it has been my life's focus to build the Classic into the most amazing family friendly classic racing festival, the biggest and many people think the best in the world, but our priority at all times is the safety and wellbeing of those attending our events - as well as our own team - and we know that Classic fans will understand why this step has been necessary.
"In times of difficulty, communities tend to come together and we're incredibly grateful for everyone's continued support. It means a lot.
"The passion of those coming through our gates is what makes the event the success that it has become and we are now already looking forward to celebrating our delayed 30th anniversary with everyone next year instead."
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